The newest indication that the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may be preparing a young girl to take over his dictatorial family dictatorship dates back decades: on Tuesday, he escorted a kid rumored to be his daughter to a lavish feast at a military barracks.
The daughter believed to be Kim’s second kid, Ju Ae, who is said to be around 9 years old, and her father attended the banquet to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the foundation of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) along with his wife, Ri Sol Ju, according to official media on Wednesday.
According to a Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) article, the military officers at the banquet hailed seeing Kim and “his revered” daughter as a dream come true.
As Kim and her mother entered the dinner site, the girl could be seen strolling with them in photos released by the state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper as military officers clapped.
The young lady was seated at the banquet in the middle of the lead table, between Kim and her mother.
According to Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, the girl’s attendance at such a significant occasion sends obvious signals in a nation where the Kim family and the military are both extremely influential.
He claimed that Kim wanted spectators at home and abroad to perceive his family dynasty and the North Korean military as being inextricably linked by ostentatiously including his wife and daughter.
Other analysts stated that it is evident that Kim has chosen his successor, confirming rumors that had been sparked by the girl’s presence during the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test launch in November with her father.
After that launch, Yoo Sang-bum, a South Korean congressman and the secretary of the National Intelligence Service, stated that the girl was likely Ju Ae.
Images showed the pair strolling together as they examined the enormous missile, and state media referred to her as Kim’s “beloved” daughter.
Later that month, a report in state-run North Korean media featured images of Kim and his daughter and referred to her as his “most cherished” child, according to Cheong Seong-chang, a senior analyst at the Sejong Institute in South Korea.
Given these, there is no longer any question that Kim Ju Ae has been named as Kim Jong Un’s successor; therefore, it is important to consider how this will impact North Korea’s domestic and foreign policies in the medium- to long-term, as well as how North Koreans will react to the appointment of the fourth generation, according to Cheong.
The Kim dynasty has ruled North Korea since Kim Il Sung took office in the wake of World War II in 1948.
He passed away in 1994, and Kim Jong Il became the next leader. After his father, Kim Jong Il, passed away in December 2011, Kim Jong Un assumed leadership.
There is no sign that Kim Jong Un will relinquish power any time soon.
The Kim dictatorship has hosted such feasts for the military before, but images from the event on Tuesday showed a fancier setting than usual.
According to Easley, Kim’s opulent banquet honoring the armed forces was intended to demonstrate how highly officers are held in society and how effectively the government supports its warriors.
In his speech at the banquet, Kim Jong Un, according to KCNA, complemented and enthused the military without making any mention of the United States or South Korea.
The banquet on Tuesday was held the day before what many experts believe would be the largest military parade in North Korea’s history.
Analysts anticipate seeing samples of these missiles and more during an event that is expected to start late Wednesday night. Pyongyang just finished a record-breaking year of missile testing.
A first public appearance by Kim Jong Un’s daughter at a new missile launch
Friday saw the launch of “a new type” of intercontinental ballistic missile under the direction of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his young daughter, whose existence had not been previously verified.
The ICBM is reportedly sitting on its mobile launch platform nearby as Kim appears to be holding hands with the girl in startling photos provided by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
The “new” missile being observed by the two, according to KCNA, is a Hwasong-17 that was launched from Pyongyang International Airfield and traveled 999.2 kilometers (621 miles).
Following the launch on Friday, Japan issued a warning that the new missile appeared to have the potential range to reach the US mainland.
According to the KCNA article, Kim claimed the test was meant to “clearly display” his nation’s capability to counter what he called the “hysteric aggressor war rehearsals by the adversaries attempting to undermine peace and stability in the Korean peninsula.”
“Kim Jong Un solemnly declared that our Party and government will resolutely react to nukes with nuclear weapons and to total confrontation with all-out confrontation,” KCNA reported. “If the enemies continue to pose threats to the DPRK, frequently introducing nuclear strike means,” the report continued.
Old dangers and a new test
The launch on Friday, which, according to Japanese officials, landed around 210 kilometers (130 miles) west of the Japanese island of Oshima Oshima, was not the first time North Korea shot an ICBM that analysts and officials have estimated could theoretically reach the US.
According to a report by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) at the time, Pyongyang’s missile test on March 24 recorded the greatest altitude and longest duration of any North Korean missile ever tested, whereas Friday’s missile was shorter in altitude and distance. According to KCNA, that missile traveled 1,090 kilometers (681 miles) and reached an altitude of 6,248.5 kilometers (3,905 miles).
And in 2017, James Mattis, who was then the US defense secretary, claimed that a North Korean missile launch that year showed it could target “anything in the world.”
Despite the theoretical range of the missile, Pyongyang has not demonstrated its capability to mount a nuclear warhead on it and deliver it to its intended location.
Ballistic missiles are launched into space and then re-enter our atmosphere. Experts have yet to witness unambiguous evidence that North Korea can successfully obtain a warhead for the violent reentry into Earth’s atmosphere.
Threats from Kim against the US and South Korea were also not new.
The North Korean leader warned his enemies that his nuclear forces are completely ready for “real war” following a missile launch in October.
Kim stated in a KCNA report that “our nuclear fighting forces… demonstrated again their full readiness for genuine battle to bring the adversaries under their grip.”
US basketball player made the first mention of Kim’s child
The personal life of Kim Jong Un and his family is largely unknown.
The name of Kim’s daughter, who was making her debut in state media on Saturday, was omitted from the news article. However, in 2013, Dennis Rodman, a former basketball player, claimed that Kim had a “baby” named “Ju Ae” for the British newspaper The Guardian.
Rodman claimed to have spoken to Kim’s wife, Ri Sol Ju, and spent time with the family, calling Kim “a fantastic parent.”
He told the newspaper, “I held their kid Ju Ae and spoke with Ms. Ri as well.
2012 saw the beginning of pregnancy rumors as a state media image of Ri appeared to show her donning a long coat that might have concealed a growing baby belly. However, the North Korean government remained silent on the subject.
In July 2012, around three years after South Korean intelligence believes the wedding took place, state media finally announced Kim and Ri’s union.
But everything changed in 2018 when North Korean state media gave her the new title of “respected First Lady,” an improvement over the previous designation of “comrade” and, in the eyes of experts, an indication that she was developing her personality cult.
According to the National Intelligence Service of South Korea, Kim and Ri are parents to three kids (NIS).
Since Kim Il Sung established North Korea in 1948, the country has been governed by a hereditary dictatorship. After his father passed away in 1994, Kim Jong Il assumed control. 17 years later, after Kim Jong Il’s passing, Kim Jong Un came to power.